Driving around with your interior light on – illegal, right?

No. You can tell your moaning dad to be quiet. Well, if it’s you behind the wheel, and you want it turned on. Otherwise it’s up to him.

The so called rule is one of many mythical laws pedalled by drivers, teachers, and just about anyone who’s got behind the wheel of a car in recent decades.

The fact is, there’s nothing in the Highway Code that says motorists aren’t allowed to turn on their interior light while moving. There’s also no law.

Did you know?

Admittedly, we thought it illegal too, but were made aware thanks to this tweet by brand agency creative Amanda.

Amanda’s tweet got a lot of people talking. It turns out a lot of people thought driving with the lights on is illegal. Then a former copper piped up to put things right.

So, yes. Also, obviously crusts don’t make your hair curl and gum doesn’t stay in your gut for any longer than anything else. It’s best to give yourself a bit of time after eating before swimming, though.

We double checked the interior lights fact on the DVLA website, Government information service, and the RAC. The news was confirmed.

However, there are complexities to this. While the interior light may be switched on, it mustn’t distract the driver, or shine out of the back windscreen to obstruct the view of anyone travelling behind – the only light shining must be red.

The police also have the power to ask you to turn it off if they feel it necessary.

The RAC states: “There is no law against this [interior light]. However, if a police officer pulls you over and adjudges your interior light to be a driving distraction they have the right to tell you to turn it off.”

It’s ok to turn on your interior lights if need be

A police officer has more guidance: “Your original query re light. I’m certainly not aware of this rule within the road vehicle lighting regs 1989.

“The only scrap of a chance may be if the interior light is white AND it is showing to the rear (which I would doubt) so that it is visible from outside the rear of the vehicle. The offence there is ‘showing a light other than red to the rear’.

“When you think about it a car has numerous lights with in the cockpit nowadays, one more located in the roof probably won’t make much difference. (Sat-navs, instrument dials, radios etc).

“AS already pointed out, he has committed an offence of (1) Driving on the footway (Sec 72 Highways act)1835); (2) Depending if you were in-convenienced another more serious offence of Driving without reasonable consideration for other road users (sec 3 RTA ’88) This would also tie in with the Due Care.”

So there you go, turn your light on all you like. If you need to.

Also, we can’t help but mention that the 10am and 2pm position on the steering wheel is also wrong. Since airbags came into common usage, 9am and 3pm was adopted – otherwise, if a bag goes off, you’ll punch yourself in the face.

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Joshua Barrie

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